Look of the Week: Pre-Approved DADUs


As you're likely all-too-familiar, our state faces an unprecedented housing crisis. According to EcoNorthwest, "we have the lowest ratio of dwelling units to households of any state in the country".

DADU's (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units) are being promoted in many cities in need of increased affordable housing. Usually under 1,000 square feet, they offer additional living or work space, can serve as an apartment for extended family or nannies, and can typically be rented out for extra income. 

Seattle and Renton currently have pre-approved plans to choose from, with greatly shortened permitting times and in some cases, lessened fees.

Seattle currently offers 10 pre approved plans, and the designs are inspiring.

According the the Seattle website, it's a simple process. Plans can be purchased for as little as $1,000 with multiple architects contributing the designs.

There are rules of course regarding zoning, lot coverage, and quantity - but for those with the lot and location to qualify, it's a really awesome option to expand living space or generate extra income. In some places (Kirkland is one), ownership between house and DADU cab be legally separated by converting to ownership as condos. And yes, the structures can then be sold separately. This is a recent change to Kirkland's ADU code and a handful of builders and homeowners are in the early stages of navigating this opportunity.

We hope you've found this post interesting, and please reach out if you have any questions!

Look of the Week: Good Gifting

This week we're sharing some unique picks we've curated for seasonal gifting and/or to warm up your holiday home! 

Starting with this sweet and well-priced glazed berry dish - love when beauty and function collide! Perfect for everyday use and pretty even when not.

And when the hot cocoa requests come fast and furious (or you've managed a little quiet tea or coffee time) this retro-look, putty colored kettle from Haden of England is a stunner.

Cozy blankets are a must in the wintertime. These ones are especially beautiful, and have a great story and cause.

Grandparents on the list? We recently ordered these darling customized ornaments from Etsy with pics of the kids (although a very special pet works, too). Love to support small artists.  

Another fun idea for the kids to get into the spirit of crafting and gift giving - making splatter clay bowls! Looks relatively simple, and the end result much more usable than some of our kids' other clay creations (one-eyed monsters and such).

For teachers, kids, or friends - these awesome customizable pencils.

For anyone who needs some help finding 'chill out' time, the gift of Calm offers tons of content to promote peace and well being. Bonus: their kids' Sleep Stories work like a charm!

Last, for your socially aware, kind-hearted, and ambitious children: This lovely book.

Hope this assortment helps brighten your holidays. Have a wonderful December!

Sold: Esteemed West of Market Residence - 5th Ave W



Status: SOLD
223 5th Ave W

With its over-11,000 square foot lot, grand frontage, and glorious views, this nearly 6,000 square foot home was carefully constructed in 2000 and enjoys the quiet tranquility of sitting a block off Waverly, with the convenience of maximum walkability and Heritage Park at its doorstep. Soon to be reimagined by its spirited new family of four, the home's interior design will be refreshed in a timeless, modern, and playful way. We are thrilled to help welcome this awesome family to the neighborhood!

Sold: West of Market Land



Status: SOLD
414 13th Ave W

SOLD - West of Market, Rose Point



Status: SOLD
1810 10th Pl W

Matthew Gardner's Housing + Economic Update - 5/24/21

Our economist Matthew Gardner just released a video to address questions about a possible housing bubble. It's a 30-minute video starting with a recent history on presidents taking steps to increase homeownership (which translated in part to relaxed underwriting guidelines and lower down payments), but if you jump in around 8:40, it gets more interesting (and a bit comical) as he begins describing how our current environment is so different from that of the early 2000s - from available mortgage products to percentage of sub-prime borrowers.

He also addresses our historically low inventory, noting that in recent years, homeowners have simply stayed in their homes longer, while the number of new households has increased dramatically - Matthew compares 2000-2006 with 2014-2020 in this graph:

Further, permit activity for new construction has also decreased significantly from both pre and post pandemic vs in the 2000s.

Overall, Matthew finds that current day homeowners' excellent credit and "significant equity put us in a very different place than we were in the 2000s"

And on recent appreciate rates: "The pace of price growth we've seen over the past year is clearly unsustainable and it must start to slow - if only to allow incomes to start catching up". He noted that in some markets, the pace of growth in list prices is showing tentative signs of this, which he says will likely ease the pace of growth in sales prices.

The bottom line is that he does not see a downturn in real estate unless banks greatly ease lending requirements again, something he does not feel is realistic.

If you have the time (and interest), it's a really thorough look at all that was in play then, and how things have shifted so dramatically in recent years.

Chalet Soul - Union Hill


$1,212,000 MLS #1740249

Status: SOLD
23923 NE 75th Pl
Lofty ceilings, exposed beams, and peaked windows will transport you; an incredible natural refuge with resort personality and fantastic privacy. 1.26 acres with sunny lawns and curving, private drive. Main floor owner suite overlooks soothing pond; connected bath boasts miles of stone, skylights, and large soaking tub. Main floor den PLUS additional unparalleled separate Work From Home configuration with dedicated entry, hardwood floors, and amazing light (ideal for home-based business, WFH, home school, studio, and more). Upstairs, two bedrooms, a full bath, and the coolest open rail loft/hall. Natural elements and unique architecture shine in this true PNW residence. Generator, motorized shades, 3-car garage, security system, sprinklers and multitude of magazine-worthy outdoor entertaining spaces. This is where life happens.

SOLD: West of Market Haven


Price: $1,350,000
900 20th Ave W

We helped the sweetest young family make their walkable Kirkland dreams come true, with a coveted West of Market location to boot! This sleepy Rose Point corner lot offers refuge and quiet, with mature trees and even peekaboo lake views. With a gorgeous design plan at the ready, this home will soon be transformed into a magazine-worthy masterpiece, and a quintessential example of quality over quantity by allowing the right design decisions to create those just-right interior spaces.

Just Listed: Bountiful Vistas - Kirkland

$2,220,000 MLS #1729268
 Status: Sold
Bountiful Vistas. Gracefully poised within a gated, 6-home community at Surfmere, this extensively upgraded home boasts perfection in function, glorious views from nearly every room, and jubilant personality. Grand floor plan and scale delight while modern sensibility and materials invite you to linger. Hardwood floors throughout, A/C, generator, 3-car garage, sprinkler system.  Masterful cook’s kitchen in pleasing grey, white and brass with loads of eat-in seating. A truly spectacular owners’ retreat with connected den (WFH or lounge) and an earthy bathroom filled with walnut, Grohe, and an air bath. Four bedrooms plus a generous bonus room on the upper level. Open rail and two-story entry contribute volume and light. A phenomenal, big-view residence with the care, upgrades, and systems buyers dream of; an alluring and uplifting place to call home.

Look of the Week: "Gear Loft"

A Seattle couple worked with design firm Johnston Architects to create this unique, shed-inspired structure in the Methow Valley. With a plywood interior and corrugated exterior, it feels like the best cozy lodge in a sea of snow. 

SOLD: Green Lake Luxe

List Price: $1,375,000
5811 1st Ave NE
We had the great fortune of working with a delightful buyer from Colorado looking for a second home in Seattle. Having recently built custom back in Colorado, we didn't anticipate we'd find such a perfect match here -- but this home even had her favorite Miele dishwasher and Wolf range! In addition, it was remarkably like new construction for a 1920's house - thanks to an extensive renovation a few years go. Icing on the cake? The turf yard for her two dogs. 

New Construction - East of Market


$2,600,000 MLS #1574038 Status: SOLD

Spacious, close in new construction residence with loads of Seattle character by esteemed DC Granger Homes. Four beds/3 baths and bonus room all on upper level; Main floor features den or 5th bed with bath and expansive great room overlooking huge backyard with covered patio. Coveted 9th Ave locale. Completion late summer 2020.